I saw delicata squash in Saarbruecken for the first time this year, and was so excited I bought all of them. But my mom told me that they don’t last as long as other winter squashes with harder skins, so I asked Derek to choose a recipe to use up some of them. He chose this recipe from a “lighter cooking” section of Food and Wine magazine.
The instructions for roasting the squash worked pretty well. One teaspoon of oil was enough to coat all four squash halves, and after 45 minutes the squash was soft throughout. The only problem was that the squash skin turned black and tough in places. Perhaps I should have used a lower temperature or cooked the squash for less time, since my squash were on the small side and I have a fan in my oven.
The quinoa instructions worked less well. I generally prefer 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of quinoa, and indeed after 15 minutes the quinoa was cooked but there was still water in the pan. I was also a bit annoyed that the author gives no salt amounts.
The final dish was pleasant enough. It had a mix of textures, which I liked, but the flavors were all a bit wan. I added more mint and parsley and vinegar and arugula, which helped. But what I think the recipe really needed was some roasted pumpkin seeds or feta or something like that. The headnotes say that the author serves this recipe as a vegetarian main dish in his restaurant, but to us it seemed more like an appetizer.
Our squash halves were on the small side, and we ended up with a lot of salad leftover. I decided to bulk it up and added chickpeas, seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame), a diced red pepper, a grated carrot, and two more roasted squash halves, peeled and cut into cubes. After all my additions the salad tasted a bit confused. The chickpeas didn’t go all that well with the sweet squash and raisins. I tried adding some garam masala to beef up the “sweet” angle, but it just made the salad even more confused. It still tasted alright, just kind of like a “kitchen sink” recipe.
Derek: B- (with the addition of some feta)